While on our recent “hiatus” from social media, Lana and I
went to Maine. We stayed at a house kindly lent to us by some blog friends of
Lana’s. We had a great time and I’ll post more about that journey later. Today
I want to talk about my addiction—to reading. And about the problems it caused
me on this trip.
I used to travel with a suitcase of clothes and a briefcase
of books. I’d take ten or twelve different paperbacks so I’d have a choice in reading
material. I no longer do this because I have a Kindle loaded with hundreds of volumes.
As we headed to the airport Thursday, I took only the Kindle and the one paper book
I was reading, Three Blind Mice by Ed
McBain. I finished the McBain on the flight so, after arriving at our vacation
home that evening, I pulled out my electronic library and turned it on. Nothing
I had just charged the
battery so I didn’t think that was the problem. Still, I dutifully hooked up
the charger. Again, nothing happened. Not even the indicator light came on. I
tried a reset. That didn’t work. I hopped on the net with my laptop to research
solutions. None of them worked. I initiated a chat with Amazon support but they
couldn’t help either. My Kindle, which I’ve had since February 27, 2009, was
dead. I was without reading material.
I began to shake, and even though I’d been reading only a
few hours before I felt immediate withdrawal pangs. Just the thought that I
couldn’t read if I wanted to was enough to undermine my equilibrium. Despite
this, I somehow managed to sleep.
Lana and I were up early Friday and hit the shore to explore
and take pictures. On the way back we passed through the town of Winter Harbor
and stopped at a 5 and 10 store. They had some nonfiction stuff, mostly birding
books and local geographies. I certainly read a lot of nonfiction but my
“addiction” is to fiction, to “stories.” Fiction is my heroin. Nonfiction is
more like methadone. I did find a book on the ghosts of Maine, which I bought.
I also asked every place we went if there were a local bookstore. The checkout
lady at the IGA told us there was. It was only two blocks away and was called Serendipity.
Within minutes we arrived in the parking lot of Serendipity.
I could see a book display in the window as we walked up and my withdrawal
pangs began to dissipate. Then we came to the front door, which was locked, and
found a sign that read: “Closed Friday through Monday.” We were in town
precisely from Friday through Monday.
I did not panic, though. On the way in from the airport on
Thursday afternoon we’d seen a used bookstore along US Highway 1. It was a long
drive but we needed to go into a bigger town to find Lana some photography
stuff anyway. So, we headed out. I parked almost in front of the door of the
bookstore and immediately noticed two things. First, the big plate glass
windows were chock full of books and I could already see numerous titles that I
wanted to read. My fingers and eyes began to itch with the need. But there was
a second thing to notice. This door too had a sign. It read: “Closed at Three
Today.” Our car clock read 3:20. No fiction for me.
To Be Continued:
Labels: Maine, Quest for Books, reading addiction